Johannesburg - Eskom has suspended the general manager of the Koeberg Power Station for “performance-related issues”, the power utility announced on Friday night.
In a statement, the embattled power utility, which had earlier confirmed load shedding into the weekend until at least Sunday night, said the general manager was suspended on Friday.
“Eskom can confirm that today the Koeberg Power Station General Manager was placed on suspension while investigations into the performance of the Koeberg Nuclear Power Station are conducted,” spokesperson Sikhonathi Mantshantsha said in a statement.
“Eskom’s Chief Nuclear Officer, Riedewaan Bakardien will oversee all the operations of the power station,” he said.
The power utility said the Koeberg Power Station’s Unit 1 generating unit, which had a capacity of 900MW, has been on an outage since January this year.
“One of Eskom’s biggest generating units with a capacity of 900MW, Koeberg Unit 1 has been on an outage since January 2021, and could have assisted in reducing the depth of load shedding had the unit been brought back on time as originally planned.
“Eskom confirms that there are no nuclear safety concerns at Koeberg, and if needed the required time will be taken to complete all the outstanding work-scope before returning unit 1 to the grid,” he said.
“Eskom leadership has been concerned with outage performance at Koeberg nuclear power plant, and the recent outage on Unit 1 has again been plagued with delays resulting in significant slippage on the return to service date. The unit is currently planned to return to service during the third week of June.
“Eskom leadership and the board encourage Koeberg staff to continue to focus on the remaining outage work and safely returning Unit 1 as soon as possible, as it is an essential part of the national fleet of generating assets,” said Eskom.